Puritans gearing up for two ‘really tough’ matches

Andy Whing has warned his Banbury United players that they face two “really tough” games over the next week or so.
Banbury United celebrate Giorgio Rasulo's goal, which wrapped up their 3-1 win over Southport last weekend. Picture by Julie HawkinsBanbury United celebrate Giorgio Rasulo's goal, which wrapped up their 3-1 win over Southport last weekend. Picture by Julie Hawkins
Banbury United celebrate Giorgio Rasulo's goal, which wrapped up their 3-1 win over Southport last weekend. Picture by Julie Hawkins

The Puritans bounced back from their first defeat of the season at Leamington on Bank Holiday Monday with an impressive 3-1 victory over Southport at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium last weekend thanks to goals from Jack Stevens, Harry Parsons and Giorgio Rasulo.

That maintained their impressive start to life in the Vanarama National League North and sees them still sitting in second place after seven games.

Now they are gearing up for the short trip to Kettering Town on Saturday, which is swiftly followed by a clash at Peterborough Sports next Tuesday night.

And boss Whing knows his team are in for a couple of thorough examinations.

“Straight after the game on Saturday we reiterated to the players how tough the next two games are away at Kettering and away at Peterborough Sports – two really tough places to go,” the Puritans manager said.

“We know we have to do the basics really well, we have to win first and second balls and when we grow into the game, we will do what we are capable of.

“But we are under no illusions, these two games are really tough away from home.

“I know Kettering haven’t started off too well but they have scored a few goals recently, which we need to be aware of.

“We know a fair bit about a number of their players so it is going to be an interesting game, that’s for sure.”

As far as last weekend was concerned, Whing was delighted with the response of his team after the 1-0 loss at Leamington.

Banbury fell behind to a Declan Evans goal after 25 minutes but stormed back with the three goals coming in the second half.

And Whing added: “I was delighted with the response.

“On Bank Holiday Monday, whether it was tiredness or just the state of the game, we weren’t great and we weren’t at our best.

“We probably shouldn’t have lost the game but we weren’t really at it.

“After a slow start on Saturday, I thought we were outstanding. We could have won a lot more comfortably in the end. They made two fantastic blocks on the line in the first half when we were just getting into the game.

“They slowed things down a bit and it took us a while to get into a rhythm but from half-an-hour onwards, I thought we were outstanding and fully deserved the win again.”